History Will Be Kind To Us For We Will Write It! #Clegginar
So Clegg didn’t paraphrase Churchill in the #Clegginar but it would have been good if he had.
There were so many good questions that I can only summarize the best before getting on to the meat of this post which was my question.
Stephen Tall of Lib Dem Voice asked about the Pupil Premium and social mobility. Nick told us that he was going to do a speech on Monday on education and how we can best use the pupil premium and other potential methods we could use to give people from disadvantaged backgrounds the same kind of chance to succeed as those from better off backgrounds.
Alex White of Liberal Youth asked about how we connect with young people. Nick simply answered by talking to them on issues that matter to them.
Callum Leslie asked about the snooping charter. Nick said it was important that we get the principles behind the #ccdd right. He also seemed not to get why us as members were so against it. Jonathan Calder & Zoe O’Connell being two of the many bloggers campaigning against this breach in our civil liberties.
I want to deal with Tracy Connell’s question with mine because they touch on the same point.
My question was in typical communication fashion cut short. The full question was:
Is our strategy of keeping our heads down and getting on with it working? Why don’t we and our comms team go out, make history and get the papers to write about it. To quote Churchill “History will be kind to me for I will write it” Our problem seems to be to let everyone else write it for us.
Yes, badly phrased, I know. Helen Duffet, Head of Internal Comms chose the bit which was phrased the worst and asked Nick this bit:
Why don’t we and our comms team go out, make history and get the papers to write about it.
That is very badly worded. I hate my phrasing sometimes.
Even though it was badly phrased, Nick’s answer was bad. There was an element in there that was good but the overall message was bad. The good element of the answer was using social media and the internet including things like webinars and bypass conventional media because they hate us. Yes, papers on the left and the right hate us but its not a case of “Haters are gonna hate” and lets not bother about them. Lets just keep our head down and get on with the job and prove ourselves which was the message in Tracy Connell’s question about local vs national politics.
Its also not about “shouting louder” which was Clegg’s last words in response to my question. Its about shouting better or better yet communicating better without the shouting.
Its about acting in a way and communicating in a way that the papers on the left and right can only come up with praise. Matthew Gibson over at Solution Focused Politics has an In Praise of … Series, praising papers who find strengths in the LibDems.
History is never kind to those who keep their head down and get on with the job in hand. History is kind to those who go out and write history and make papers, broadcasters, bloggers like them.
Zuckerberg was hated in Uni for facemash but then he wrote history in creating the biggest social networking sites ever. Yes, facebook has issues over privacy & Zuckerberg is written up horribly by some people but that will be a sidenote in history. You’ll see that throughout history.
It may well be that Clegg and our time in government will be seen a century down the line as the guys who did the right thing in despite media pressure but don’t count on it.
We need to be clever in how we deal with the Tories, we need to be clever in how we deal with Labour and we need to be clever in how we communicate that in whatever medium we choose.
Saying “Tell Labour they are liars” even in a LibDem only environment is not the way to communicate, if we ever want to gain a majority.
I’ve learnt in my brief time in this life that sometimes calling a “spade, a spade” is not the most effective way of communicating.